I’ve felt really bad, for a long time now, that I have completely stopped reading my Bible. Oh I pick it up to pull a scripture out, or I flip open to the verses listed as extra reading in my devotional time with the kids, etc. But I don’t really READ the WORD anymore. I haven’t in… well over a year.
When I was a new Christian, I had a strong hunger for the Word. It brought clarity to my muddled thinking. Coming out of liberal feminism and into Christendome wasn’t easy. But in the first 2 yrs, I grew a lot as a baby Christian and started looking for meat. I found it, with the help of a “friend.” And when when we moved to San Antonio, we found a church that was seemingly Biblically ordered. It was challenging. It was enlightening. It was sentimental for me (almost exactly like the church I grew up in!). I learned a lot there. I actually loved the essence of the church.
After 3 1/2 yrs, we left. My “Spiritual Abuse” meter was finally capped off and I couldn’t take it anymore. What started off as a beautiful church ideal quickly turned into a nightmare. I have, in the past, likened the church to a preemergent cult. But I don’t really believe that anymore. I know it serves a place in the Body of Christ – but I just can’t be a part of that particular leg.
Oh how I miss it though.
I know – I’m very complicated.
Anyway, it dawned on me a few weeks ago why my love of the Word has become so tainted.
For 5 yrs I basically used the Word to bring division and condemnation instead of living in the Word so that I could be the Salt and Light. The 2 years before we found The Village (literary allusion there folks) I spent under the tutelage of a lady who was a Bearer of False Witness – she presented herself to be one thing when in reality she was not at ALL walking in the path she was admonishing me to walk in. Naturally, our relationship ended catastrophically. One can only throw stones at glass houses for so long before the windows shatter. She taught me to be critical, judgemental, condemning – you name it – and she taught me how to use the Word to suit my agenda. Horrible Christian training. Then plop me down in a church that just FEEDS that part of your spirit and you have a recipe for disaster!
I’ve felt stirrings up in my spirit for a few weeks now. The inkling to get back into the Bible. But it is with fear and trepidation that I want to approach God in this manner again. What if I abuse His Word again? The Word seems dead to me – but it is a Living Word and I know that. I used to read the Bible and things seemed so clear to me – it brought Clarity. Now I read it and I am lost in translation. I used to be fluent in KJV – which is my favorite version – but now I get all the “thees, thous, and thines” confused. It feels like mumbo jumbo to me and I don’t even know where to start. I don’t trust my own interpretation of Scripture. But I don’t trust anyone else’s either.
For the past year or so I’ve fallen into a rut, spiritually, it seems. I was depending on church to be my challenger – to encourage me – to enlighten me. I can’t depend on my church for any of that anymore. Church was my scapegoat. Now it’s just me and God.
And that terrifies me.